Newcastle United Under-21s 0 Huddersfield Town Under-21s 1
- Benjamin Wyatt
Connor Falls' late strike condemned Newcastle United Under-21s to a 1-0 defeat against their Huddersfield Town counterparts in the Premier League Cup on Friday night.
The Group F encounter looked set to be heading towards a stalemate at Whitley Park before the young Magpies fell behind in the closing stages through Falls’ close-range finish following a scramble inside the penalty area.
The defeat leaves United’s second-string situated at the foot of their respective table, consisting of Huddersfield, Fleetwood Town and Nottingham Forest, on two points after playing four cup fixtures, with trips to Fleetwood and Forest remaining in their bid to qualify for the last 16 of the competition.
The visitors created the opening goalscoring opportunity of the cup clash as Myles Bright’s low cross was directed into Connor Fall's path but the Terriers striker’s first-time effort was sent inches wide of the left-hand post,
The Town forward caused a further problem for the United backline after racing onto Tom Iorpenda’s through pass but was sliced his attempt wide of the the target.
Magpies goalkeeper Will Brown, who joined Newcastle’s Academy from the age of 14, produced a key stop to deny Falls, who had held off the challenge of Newcastle defender Remi Savage before his drilled effort towards goal was held by the Ponteland-born shot-stopper.
Newcastle’s sole shot on target during the opening 45 minutes came courtesy of 20-year-old striker Dylan Stephenson, who latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area but the Blyth-born forward’s strike at goal lacked enough pace to trouble Huddersfield goalkeeper Francis Hurl, who gathered the low drive.
With the half-time whistle approaching, Brown ensured the hosts headed into the break on level terms as Iorpenda’s stinging shot from the edge of the box was beaten away by the young ‘keeper before the ball was hacked away from the penalty area.
Brown was called upon once again shortly after the restart as Omari Mrisho’s curling cross from the right flank forced the 21-year-old goalkeeper into diverting the ball away from goal.
Kyle Crossley went close to registering his fourth goal of the season at under-21 level as a quickly-taken free-kick saw Stephenson’s cross-cum shot find its way to the left winger but his resulting shot was blocked for a corner by Mrisho.
Iorpenda struck the post for the visitors in the closing stages after picking the ball up in the final third before his bending shot clipped the outside of the left-hand post before Johnny Emerson was on hand to intercept the loose ball.
Trevan Sanusi, who made his under-21s debut for Newcastle’s second-string in Tuesday’s Bristol Street Motors Trophy clash against Crewe Alexandra, was introduced from the substitutes’ bench, and almost produced an assist for James Huntley but the Magpies skipper saw his goal bound attempt pushed away by Hurl.
In the 86th minute, Newcastle were delivered a sickening blow as Falls broke the deadlock for the Terriers. Following a scramble inside a crowded box, the ball fell kindly into the striker’s path, who placed the ball beyond Brown.
Newcastle United Under-21s: Will Brown, Charlie Wiggett, Remi Savage, Ciaran Thompson, Josh Scott (Jordan Hackett 66), Nathan Carlyon, Ellis Stanton, James Huntley, Johnny Emerson, Kyle Crossley (Trevan Sanusi 66), Dylan Stephenson (Shaun Mavididi 86).
Subs not used: Adrian Janusz, Dylan Charlton.